22 January 2011

22 January - Saint Vincent

Weather:  If the sun shines brightly on Vincent's Day, we shall have more wine than water (i.e. optimum growing conditions for the vineyards this year).
( However )
If the sun shines on St. Vincent, there shall be much wind.

To predict the harvest in the coming season, light a torch (a real torch, not a flashlight) and carry it to a high hill.  If the flame is extinguished in the wind, crops will be abundant; if the torch burns in spite of the wind, the season will be bad.

So let us hope for lots of sun, and enough wind to extinguish a torch!
Saint Vincent, Deacon and Martyr (d. 304). A native of Huesca (Spain) and a deacon in Saragossa, he was martyred in Valencia in the persecutions of the governor, Dacian.  The Golden Legend describes his tortures - his limbs pulled from their sockets on the rack, his flesh torn with iron combs and burned with iron plates, left to lie on a pot-shard strewn prison floor, and finally yielding his spirit unto God in a feather bed.

He is the patron saint of Lisbon (Portugal), and of Vicenza (Italy), and the islands of Sao Vicente (Cape Verde) and St. Vincent (Caribbean).

He is also the patron saint of vine growers and dressers, vintners, and vinegar makers, probably from a pun on his name.  Winemakers and wine-growing regions have celebrations, like this one in Normandy

Wine is very definitely on the menu today.  And perhaps something from one of the countries listed above.  This being winter, I'm inclined to choose a recipe from the Caribbean.